Went to a late showing of Pirates III: Attack of the Clones last night. crabmoon, theenigma42, koriandrkitten, lord_alucard, and the_tick27 were in attendance. What can I say? If you're expecting to enjoy this movie, you very likely will. Lots of action and lots of plot, and both are well balanced against each other. You'll feel a lot smarter when you watch it then you did when you watched The Matrix Eats France.
If I have any serious complaints, they're the same ones I have (in retrospect) about the second movie. Pirates II: Judgment Day was so flashy and exciting that it was only on repeat viewings that I realized how bloated and incoherent the plot was. There's too much going on in both movies, and much of it is unnecessary to the story. Most of the action sequences could be cut without damaging the overall story, as could the exposition leading up to them. There are irreconcilable plot holes (mostly of the "why aren't they consulting Jack's compass?" variety). Characters that were well-established the first time around receive a Star Wars-style retro-fitting of new traits and backstory that will have to be overlooked the next time I watch the first two films.
Not to spoil anything, but some people are going to be upset that Elizabeth gets together with Ron instead of Harry. Oh, and Keith Richards? Never gonna play Hamlet.
Otherwise, though, it's pretty great. The nearly three hour runtime means not only that you'll be getting your money's worth, but also that you shouldn't see a late showing on a school night. Coffee and circadian rhythms are keeping me in high spirits right now, but Lindsay -- who wanted to see it more badly than I did -- came out of the theater too tired to drive safely, and is probably paying for it. Performances are pretty fantastic (but you know that because you saw them all in the last two movies), Gore Verbinski's direction is tight and creative (qualities which tend to be mutually exclusive), and the visual design of the production is fan-freakin'-tastic. People who see the same flaws as I did will probably not realize it until after the movie is over, and most of them could care less. Yeah, it's an inconsequential popcorn movie, but it's an inconsequential popcorn movie of the highest order, and why would you want to go to the movies if not for escapism?